Geared toward Absolute Beginners, this course gives you a solid start and foundation to build upon.
This is an introductory course to the Portuguese language as spoken in Portugal. Throughout the course, we will focus on the Portuguese sound system and basic Portuguese grammar.
You will also learn how to introduce yourself and day-to-day, useful phrases. Finally, we will discuss learning resources and strategies to support your learning journey.
After the course, you will have a basic understanding of European Portuguese pronunciation and grammar. You will also be capable of engaging in simple, short oral interactions. Last but not least, you will be aware of a variety of learning resources and strategies to help you succeed at learning the language.
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This intensive course is for language learners striving toward the A2 level.
Regarding pronunciation, the letter x is definitely challenging for those learning Portuguese. Here is why;
In Portuguese, the letter x stands for four different language sounds, namely, the /ʃ/-sound (as in shape), the /ks/-sound (as in tax), the /z/-sound (as in zen), and the /s/-sound (as in sun).
Luckily, there are a few spelling patterns that will make it easier for you. Learning these patterns and keeping them in the back of your mind will allow you, in most cases, to guess it right. Read on.
IPA – International Phonetic Alphabet
The symbols in the paragraph above, the ones enclosed in forward-slashes, are IPA symbols and refer to language sounds across all languages regardless of their specific scripts.
The most common language sound produced by X is, by far, the /ʃ/-sound (as is ashes). Let’s look at a few spelling patterns rendering the /ʃ/-sound.
Words starting with X
Virtually all Portuguese words starting with an X render the /ʃ/-sound. Here’re a few examples:
. . .
X in front of a consonant
Also, whenever the letter X stands right in front of another consonant, it will produce the /ʃ/-sound. Many of the words in this group have English cognates wherein the X renders a /ks/-sound instead:
. . .
X in between vowels
The letter X is more devious when it is stuck in between vowels. In that case, there are three possibilities and no definitive rules. Yet, in most cases, X will render the /ʃ/-sound as before. Take a look at the following examples:
. . .
Again, when stuck in between vowels, the letter X can also render language sounds other than the /ʃ/-sound. Let’s take a look at those cases.
The letter X produces a /ks/-sound (as in accident) when stuck in between vowels. Often, these words have English cognates that are also pronounced with the same /ks/-sound. Take a look at these examples:
. . .
The letter X can also stand for the /z/-sound (as in zealous). Typically, these words have English cognates *, although the latter will render the /gz/-sound instead: